ASHTANGA YOGA AUSTIN

About

Priya Jhawar
Founder and Director, Ashtanga Yoga Austin

My mother was the first person to spark my interest in yoga, meditation and spiritual practice. Just as she grew up watching her mother’s devotional practices, I too grew up watching and learning as my mother performed her daily japa (meditative repetition of mantra), puja (prayers and acts of worship) and study of shastras (scriptures and sacred texts). At a young age, I became fluent in Hindi, studied classical Sanskrit texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, and started to learn about yoga philosophy. After completing my training and certification in classical Bharatanatyam Dance, I began to cultivate an asana practice (the physical postures of yoga) in 2001. Throughout law school and in my career as a business litigation attorney, the practice of yoga helped me to stay balanced and grounded, especially amidst the throes of corporate life. Having fought many long and hard battles in and out of the courtroom, yoga taught me the beauty of surrender. In 2009, after significant life events spurred me to rethink my dharma and life purpose, I decided to leave the practice of law to delve deeper into my own sadhana and the practice of teaching, with the goal of helping others realize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer.

I currently train with my guru, Shri R. Sharath Jois, at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, India. I have made multiple trips of extended study to the KPJAYI and received Level 2 Authorization and the blessings of my guru to teach the Ashtanga Yoga method. I formerly apprenticed with KPJAYI Authorized Level 2 teacher, Angela Jamison, assisting in her yoga shala in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and have been studying within the Ashtanga tradition since 2004. I am forever grateful to all those who have instilled within me deep love and dedication for the Ashtanga Yoga practice. As my dear teacher says, “Devoting oneself to the lineage of Guruji is to enter an ancient river of teachings that flows to an ocean of wisdom.” I am humbled and honored to be part of this lineage, and strive to uphold the parampara and teachings as I have received them from my guru.

Erin Patton
Teaching Assistant, Ashtanga Yoga Austin

I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga through a series of beginner level workshops while living in East Texas. In 2015, I moved to Austin and, seeking a teacher, I made the journey to Mysore, India in November of 2015 to study under Sri R. Sharath Jois at KPJAYI. Shortly after my return from India, Ashtanga Yoga Austin opened its doors. As I began to practice with Priya, I was inspired by how much her teaching reflects that of her own Guru, Sharath ji. Witnessing her commitment to upholding parampara, I knew I wanted to become her student. In the fall of 2016, I began an ongoing apprenticeship with Priya before making my second trip to Mysore in December 2016. I continue to learn under Priya’s tutelage and ongoing mentorship.

Ashley Reed Southerland
Teaching Assistant, Ashtanga Yoga Austin

My journey with Ashtanga Yoga began in 2009 when I stumbled into a beginners workshop at Yoga Yoga in Austin. Having no idea how this practice would soon change my life, I moved to Washington, D.C. in 2010 and joined Flow Yoga Center where I continued to delve deeper into my practice. After five years on the East coast, I moved back to Austin and made my first voyage to Mysore in November of 2015, where I studied for three months with Sri R. Sharath Jois at KPJAYI. I spent the following eight months practicing with Priya at AYA before returning to Mysore again in October of 2016 for another two-month extended study. After returning to Austin last December, I began an ongoing apprenticeship with Priya, alongside Erin, and continue to learn and grow under her mentorship and guidance.

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